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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Faith Formation: Interactive Web, Music & Youth Ministry

Sharing a few personal thoughts…

We have yet to offer safe and interactive webpages for teens and children. Our Protestant brothers and sisters are also very versatile in using contemporary music styles to bring a Christian message to teens. We need to be more proactive about this and less imitative or clichéd in our attempts. Young people are physically active and emotional. Unless we can translate the faith to such terms, we run the danger of being dismissed as boring and irrelevant. I lament that our archdiocesan CYO program no longer offers a calendar of activities like dances, concerts, competition and collaboration between parish youth groups, camping and skiing weekends, monthly retreats, and so much more. The annual manual became less a catalogue of activities and more a list of legalistic things we could not do. (Some might say that I have moved here beyond education to another area of parish and archdiocesan activity; however, I would contend that they are inextricably connected.) Where is the guidance about Youth Group Meetings? Years ago when I ran a Youth Group, I prepared themes for discussion and brought in guest speakers, as from the local Pregnancy Crisis Center and the Genesis II Drug-Rehabilitation Program.

After formal catechesis in eighth grade, we must place a new emphasis upon High School level religious formation and Youth Groups. An important hurdle we face is the dilemma of a majority Catholic population trying to practice their faith with only a grade-school level understanding of their religion. Today, there is the dark joke that Confirmation is the sacrament one receives before leaving the Church. Too many are never seen again.